BREA, Calif., Nov. 1, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Every year in the United States, millions of pets are diagnosed with and treated for cancer. For the sixth year in a row, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation's oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, seeks to increase awareness about the prevalence, detection, and treatment of pet cancer by designating November as Pet Cancer Awareness Month. To raise funds for pet cancer research, VPI has once again partnered with the Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF) and organized the Long Beach K9K Pet Cancer Awareness Walk, which will take place on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2010.
VPI started Pet Cancer Awareness month in 2005 because cancer diagnoses often catch pet owners by surprise. Many do not know their pets can develop cancer, and others simply underestimate the cost of treating cancer in their pet. Below are the 10 most common pet cancers by claims received at VPI between 2003 and 2009:
Mast Cell Tumor
Cancer of the Eyelid
Cancer of the Spleen
Fibrosarcoma (which stem from connective tissues)
Cancer of the Thorax
Hemangiopericytoma (a tumor generally arising on a limb)
Treating these pet cancers can be a heavy burden. Between 2003 and 2009, VPI policyholders spent more than $51.2 million treating just these 10 most common cancerous conditions. The most expensive form of cancer, bone cancer, cost policyholders an average of $2,304 per claim. To ensure that VPI policyholders are able to pursue optimal cancer treatment, VPI's medical policies include benefits for the diagnosis and treatment of cancerous conditions, including chemotherapy and radiation treatment, if required.
To detect cancer early, pet owners should be attentive to any growing lump or sore that fails to heal, drastic changes in a pet's appetite or weight, unusually strong odors coming from a pet, discharge or bleeding from any body opening, difficulty chewing or swallowing, or an unwillingness to exercise. Further detection tips and information on Pet Cancer Awareness Month as well as registration information for the Long Beach K9K Pet Cancer Awareness Walk can be found by visiting www.petinsurance.com/cancer. For more information on the Animal Cancer Foundation, please visit www.acfoundation.org.
Note to editors: VPI can provide state-specific cancer data and arrange interviews with pet owners whose pets have survived cancer or are currently receiving treatment for cancer.
About Veterinary Pet Insurance
With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency is the No. 1 veterinarian-recommended pet health insurance company and is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies. Providing pet owners with peace of mind since 1982, the company is committed to being the trusted choice of America's pet lovers and an advocate of pet health education. VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Optional Pet CareGuard® for routine care is also available.
Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. More than 2,000 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and in all other states by National Casualty Company, an A+15 rated company in Madison, Wisconsin. Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit www.petinsurance.com.
SOURCE Veterinary Pet Insurance Co.